cartoon Art

Art Spiegelman’s “Drawing Blood: Outrageous cartoons and the art of outrage” (it’s not online yet, but it’s from the latest issue of Harper’s) is the most comprehensive piece on the infamous Muhammad cartoons that I’ve seen. Spiegelman even analyzes the twelve original cartoons and rates them on a four-bomb scale, indicating their likelihood to draw violent attention to their makers. His attention to historical detail has been missing from both the gutless media who refused to print the cartoons and the wingnut commentators whose knees jerked at the chance to express their hatred of Islam.

(As an aside, Borders is apparently carrying this issue of Harper’s. This is somewhat of a surprise, since they (along with WaldenBooks) refused to stock a recent issue of Free Inquiry for publishing the same cartoons. One could cynically assume that sales of the higher-circulation Harper’s meant more than the principle of “the safety and security of our customers and employees.” One would also, however, have to note that the conservative rag Weekly Standard also published the cartoons, but was not pulled from newsstands in fear.

That’s bias, but it’s certainly not liberal.


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